18th November 2021, Kathmandu
Delhi HC orders the antitrust body to rule on Amazon-Future dispute within 2 weeks.
An Indian court ruled on Tuesday that the country’s antitrust authority has two weeks to investigate if Amazon lied to authorities when it sought approval for a 2019 agreement with India’s Future Group, according to a group of Indian merchants.
The lawsuit was filed with the Delhi High Court on Monday, according to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), and the judgment was handed down on Tuesday, according to the CAIT.
Since last year, Amazon and Future, India’s second-largest retailer, have been involved in a legal dispute.
Future’s proposal to transfer its retail operations to rival Reliance for $3.4 billion was successfully blocked by Amazon, which accused its partner of breaking pre-existing agreements. Future has been contending before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that Amazon’s authorization for the 2019 acquisition should be revoked since the US company made false claims in its application.
Future denies any wrongdoing and risks being liquidated if assets aren’t sold. Amazon has claimed that it is confident in its capacity to deal with such concerns from regulators.
The CAIT stated on Tuesday that the antitrust authority should make a decision on the issue as soon as possible since it has public-interest ramifications and could impair their operations if the Future-Reliance transaction fails.
The CCI must issue a ruling on the dispute between Amazon and Future within two weeks, according to a two-judge panel, and the shop group announced in a statement “traders should not be made a scapegoat or incur any financial impact.” A request for comment from the CCI and Amazon was not returned.
The legal battle between the two companies is centered on Amazon’s $200 million investment in Future Coupons, a Future Group entity, in 2019.
On Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation said it would be unusual for the CCI to entirely invalidate a transaction, even if misrepresentations had occurred, however, any decision could have an impact on the current issue.
“There is no disagreement between Amazon and Future if there is no (2019) transaction,” said the source, who asked not to be identified since the person was not authorized to speak to the media.
According to Reuters exclusively (Click Here), the CCI had assessed a complaint from Future and subsequently accused Amazon of concealing facts while seeking authorization to invest in a Future Group company in 2019, after the watchdog matched legal disclosures made by Amazon at multiple forums.
At the time, Amazon told Reuters that it was confident in its ability to address the watchdog’s concerns.